UAE has made significant progress to advance human rights, says committee

National Human Rights Committee said the UAE has enacted a series of laws that enshrine certain fundamental rights

Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to President Sheikh Khalifa and chairman of the National Human Rights Committee. Getty Images
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The UAE has made significant progress to advance human rights, particularly for the most vulnerable members of society, the National Human Rights Committee said.

The committee expressed its appreciation after the UAE was elected to the UN's Human Rights Council for the third time, this month.

The Emirates secured 180 votes from nations belonging to the Asia-Pacific group during a secret ballot among members of the UN General Assembly.

It will serve a three-year term on the council from 2022 to 2024.

When presenting its candidacy for the seat, the UAE highlighted the progress it has made in recent years, including the enacting of a series of laws and regulations that enshrine certain fundamental rights.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the National Human Rights Committee said the laws support the fair treatment of all its citizens and residents, especially women, children, workers and persons with special needs, as outlined in the Constitution.

It said the UAE has signed multiple treaties to protect human rights and works closely with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Secretariat to strengthen and protect human rights globally.

As a member of the Human Rights Council, the committee said the UAE "looks forward to fostering ties of co-operation and constructive dialogue among member states to achieve a common vision in which human rights for all are respected and upheld worldwide".

"In co-operating with UN bodies and other nations that share a vision for the welfare and prosperity of all peoples, the UAE has worked tirelessly to champion solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing challenges in the human rights field," the statement said.

"It is the UAE’s very belief in the strength of the UN system that underpins its commitment to multilateralism in continuing to progress in this area."

In August, President Sheikh Khalifa set out plans to establish a National Human Rights Institution.

He issued a federal law to set up the independent body, which will have its headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

The body will help to develop a national action plan, which will provide information to authorities on whether national laws are aligned with international treaties and conventions on human rights to which the UAE is a signatory.

In April, the Federal National Council approved a law establishing the National Commission for Human Rights in the UAE.

Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to President Sheikh Khalifa and chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, called it an "important step towards strengthening the human rights file in the country and a building block on the road to celebrating the 50 years" since the UAE was founded.

Updated: October 28, 2021, 5:47 PM